Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside. Originally from Russia, she received her A.B., summa cum laude, from Harvard University and her Ph.D. in Social/Personality Psychology from Stanford University. Lyubomirsky currently teaches courses in social psychology and positive psychology and serves as the Department of Psychology’s graduate advisor. Her teaching and mentoring of students have been recognized with the Faculty of the Year and Faculty Mentor of the Year Awards.
Lyubomirsky’s research has been awarded a Templeton Positive Psychology Prize, a Science of Generosity grant, a John Templeton Foundation grant, and a million-dollar grant (with Ken Sheldon) from the National Institute of Mental Health to conduct research on the possibility of permanently increasing happiness. Her research has been written up in hundreds of magazines and newspapers and she has appeared in multiple TV shows, radio shows, and feature documentaries in North America, South America, Asia, Australia, and Europe. She has lectured widely to a variety of audiences throughout the world, including business executives, educators, physicians, entrepreneurs, military officers, mental health professionals, life coaches, retirees, students, and scholars. The How of Happiness is now translated and published in 19 countries, and The Myths of Happiness is scheduled to be launched on January 3, 2013.
In her work, Lyubomirsky has focused on developing a science of human happiness. To this end, her research addresses three critical questions:
1) What makes people happy?
2) Is happiness a good thing?
3) How can we make people happier still?
For example, she is currently exploring the potential of happiness-sustaining activities – for example, expressing gratitude, doing acts of kindness, visualizing a positive future, and reflecting on happy moments – to durably increase a person’s happiness level beyond his or her “set point.” She has been conducting research on happiness for 23 years and has published widely in the area.
Lyubomirsky lives happily in beautiful Santa Monica, California with her husband, Peter Del Greco, and their children, Gabriella, Alexander, and new additio Isbella.
Robert Emmons is the founding editor and editor-in-chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology. Widely regarded as the world’s foremost expert in the study of gratitude, Dr. Emmons was one of the early pioneers in the positive psychology movement. He continues to be a key leader.
His newly released, Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier is drawing strong reviews and his extensive research has been featured in dozens of popular media outlets including USA Today, U.S. News and World Report, Newsweek, Time, NPR, The Paul Harvey Show, The Dr. Laura show, The Osgood Radio Files, and Reader’s Digest.
He is also the author of nearly 100 original publications in peer-reviewed journals or chapters and has written or edited four books, including The Psychology of Ultimate Concerns (Guilford Press) and The Psychology of Gratitude (Oxford University Press).
Dr. Emmons Ph.D. is currently a Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Davis. He is Past-President of the American Psychological Association’s Division 36, The Psychology of Religion. His research focuses on personal goals and purpose, spirituality, the psychology of gratitude and thankfulness, and subjective well-being.
Dr. Emmons has received research funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, the John M. Templeton Foundation, and the National Institute for Disability Research and Rehabilitation. He received his Ph.D. degree in Personality Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Southern Maine.
An opinion leader, Dr. Stephen Post is the best-selling author of Why Good Things Happen to Good People: How to Live a Longer, Happier, Healthier Life by the Simple Act of Giving. He has been quoted in more than 3000 national and international newspapers and magazines including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Parade Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the Sydney Morning Herald, “O” Magazine, and Psychology Today. Stephen has been interviewed on television and radio news shows, including National Public Radio (NPR), ABC 20/20, Nightline with John Stossel, The Daily Show with John Stewart, and has even addressed the U.S. Congress.
A transformative speaker, Stephen has inspired thousands with the best of medical knowledge, based on thirty years of research. Across North America, Australia, Europe, Japan and India his positive psychology message impacts happiness, health, success, creativity and even longevity.
A leading expert on happiness, health, and success and medical school professor for nearly three decades, Stephen has authored dozens of articles in leading journals. He is a frequent speaker of practical training techniques for healthcare professionals and students, worldwide, looking to remain competitive by improving patient outcomes, diminishing medical errors, and preventing depression and burnout in healthcare providers.
President of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, Stephen oversees the mission of exploring the ways in which love shapes human health, development, motivations and actions. To date there have been over 50 studies at 44 major institutions, with research focused on the traits and qualities that create happiness, health, contentment, and lasting success.
As author of The Moral Challenge of Alzheimer Disease, Stephen provides thought-provoking and useful information on major issues related to developmental cognitive disabilities and dementia. His writing has resulted in conferences in seven countries and forty states as well as the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the national Alzheimer’s Association for his contributions to the lives of “the deeply forgetful” and their loved ones.
Stephen’s speaking and research on these topics led to his being elected a member of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the New York Academy of Medicine, and the Royal Society of Medicine, London. He received the Pioneer Medal for Outstanding Leadership in HealthCare from the HealthCare Chaplaincy Network of America, and the Kama Book Award in Medical Humanities from World Literacy Canada.
Dr. Andrew Newberg is the director of research at the Jefferson Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine and a physician at Jefferson University Hospital. He is board certified in internal medicine and nuclear medicine.
Andrew has been asking questions about reality, truth, and God since he was very young, and he has long been fascinated by the human mind and its complex workings. While a medical student, he met Dr. Eugene d’Aquili, who was studying religious experiences. Combining their interests with Andrew’s background in neuroscience and brain imaging, they were able to break new theoretical and empirical ground on the relationship between the brain and religion.
Andrew’s research now largely focuses on how brain function is associated with various mental states—in particular, religious and mystical experiences. His research has included brain scans of people in prayer, meditation, rituals, and trance states, as well as surveys of people’s spiritual experiences and attitudes. He has also evaluated the relationship between religious or spiritual phenomena and health, and the effect of meditation on memory. He believes that it is important to keep science rigorous and religion religious.
Andrew has also used neuroimaging research projects to study aging and dementia, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, depression, and other neurological and psychiatric disorders.
Dr. Todd B. Kashdan is a world recognized authority on the science of well-being, strengths, relationships, stress, and anxiety. He uses cutting edge science to help people function optimally in life and business. He is Professor of Psychology and Senior Scientist at the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being at George Mason University. His honors include distinguished faculty member of the year and early career awards from the American Psychological Association, Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, and International Society for Quality of Life Studies. He has published over 150 scholarly articles and authored Curious? Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life (William Morrow), Designing Positive Psychology (Oxford University Press), and Mindfulness, Acceptance, and Positive Psychology (New Harbinger), and his new book, The Upside of Your Dark Side: Why being your whole self – not just your “good” self – drives success and fulfillment (Penguin). His research has been featured in several media outlets, including the New York Times and The Washington Post, and he blogs for The Huffington Post and Psychology Today. He’s a twin and has twin 7-year old daughters, with plans to rapidly populate the world with great conversationalists. Dr. Kashdan regularly leads keynotes and workshops to business executives, coaches, health professionals, schools, parents, retirees, government and other organizations.
Gayatri Devi, MD, FACP, FAAN, the Director, is a Clinical Associate Professor at New York University School of Medicine, and an Attending Physician at Lenox Hill Hospital. She is a board certified neurologist, with additional board certifications in Pain Medicine, Psychiatry, and Behavioral Neurology. She is an elected fellow of the American College of Physicians, and of the American Academy of Neurology. Dr. Devi has specialized in the early diagnosis and treatment of memory disorders related to aging and menopause for 20 years.
Dr. Devi completed her training at SUNY Downstate, serving as Chief Resident of Neurology. She then became a Behavioral Neurology Fellow at Columbia University, after which she was an Assistant Professor at SUNY Stony Brook, and Director of the Long Island Alzheimer’s Disease Center. Dr. Devi returned to Columbia University as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology, and became Director of the Memory Disorders Center at the Center for Women’s Health at Columbia Presbyterian-Eastside. She established the New York Memory and Healthy Aging Services in 1999.
Dr. Devi has over 50 publications in peer-reviewed journals on the topic of memory loss. She has presented at national and international conferences, including the annual meetings of the American Neurological Association, the European Federation of Neurologic Sciences, the North American Menopause Society, and the European Menopause Society. Her current focus of research is the use of brain stimulation to treat Alzheimer’s disease, and other memory and cognitive disorders.
Dr. Devi serves as consultant to the New York State Committee for Physician’s Health, assessing physicians on behalf of the CPH for cognitive and neurologic deficits. She also serves as a neurologic consultant to the National Football League in the assessment of players with concussions and other sports related injuries.
She has discussed memory disorders on the BBC, NPR, CBS, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, and TIME. She is President of the not-for-profit National Council on Women’s Health, and serves on the board of the Partnership for Gender Specific Medicine at Columbia University. Dr. Devi was elected president of the American Medical Woman’s Association for the 2012-2013 term. She established the Sex Trafficking Task Force at AMWA. She is proud to be a member of the NYC Parks Enforcement Patrol Mounted Auxiliary Unit. She has been chosen as a Super Doctor for many years, a peer reviewed selection of the top 5% of New York City neurologists.
She is the author of “Estrogen, Memory and Menopause” (Alphasigma Press; 2000), “What your doctor may not tell you about Alzheimer’s Disease” (Time Warner Books; 2004), and “A Calm Brain” (Penguin Books, 2012).